11 ways to make your Wi-Fi fasteredit
Win at Wi-Fi
There are few things that can infuriate a perfectly level-headed person as much as slow internet . That little buffering symbol can create sudden bouts of rage. A creeping webpage can make you feel like all hope is lost.
Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to ensure better, stronger Wi-Fi throughout your house, many of which won’t cost you a dime.
Centralize and raise the router
The position of the router in your home matters a great deal. If you have the router placed in a far corners of your home, chances are, you get spotty (or no) signal on the other end of the house.
The ideal location of a router is as close to the center of your home as possible, in an open area, away from other electronics, with maximized visibility. The more walls, doors, and other obstructions near your router, the higher the chance of something interfering with your signal.
It’s also better to keep the router higher. Routers tend to spread signal downward, so if it’s resting low or on the floor, you’re not maximizing your coverage.
Reposition the antennas
Routers come with one of two types of antennas, internal or external. If your router has two external antennas, try positioning them perpendicular to one another — one pointing vertically and the other positioned horizontally.
Reception between the router and your device is maximized when the receiver and transmitter are operating along the same plane, explains Alf Watt, a former Apple Wi-Fi engineer. Some devices have vertical antennas, others have horizontal. Having two antennas positioned perpendicularly ensures that the wireless reception is maximized.
If your router has only one antenna or an internal antenna, it will take some trial and error. Try either positioning the antenna (or the entire router) vertically and horizontally to see if one way works better than the other.
Powerline network adapters
If you live in a large multistory house or there is no way to centrally position a router, the next best solution — short of running Cat 6 to multiple rooms — is powerline network adapters.
Powerline network adapters work in most modern constructions by utilizing the existing electrical wiring in the walls. Plug in an adapter near your router and connect it to your router via Ethernet cable. Plug in the second adapter in the room or area where you want coverage. From there, you can use another Ethernet cable to connect directly into your devices or into the Internet port on a second router.
Powerline network extenders work in a similar way, but the second (or any additional) adapters emit a wireless signal strong enough for at least one small room.
Set up wireless security
It may sound pretty obvious to some, but plenty of networks are left open and unsecured. Not only is this a potential threat to users of that network, it can also cause dramatic slowdowns, thanks to users who leech off open networks and hog bandwidth by streaming videos or downloading large files.
Log in to your router’s admin page by navigating to the router’s IP address in a Web browser, then using the default credentials to sign in. This varies by brand, but it’s generally very easy to find, often on the bottom of the router itself or in the produt manual. Choose WPA2 as the encryption method and select a passphrase — something you can easily remember.
Use heatmapping software
If you’re unsure if there are nearby networks interfering with yours or what sort of coverage you actually need, you can download software that will show you everything you could possibly want to know about (or know what to do with) the wireless signals in your home.